I lift up my eyes to you, to you who sit enthroned in heaven. As the eyes of slaves look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a female slave look to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the Lord our God, till he shows us his mercy. (Psalm 123:1-2 NIV)
One of the obstacles I faced this month involved preparing my latest picture book What Were You Thinking, Nibs Rabbit? for publication. It didn’t want to cooperate with the specifications required. Currently, I’m waiting on a proof copy.
Another deterrent from blogging has come in the shape of my new ministry—art classes with a biblical message. You can check them out on my God Lessons on Canvas page.
I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m learning a lot through teaching these classes, which is par for the course. If you want to learn—teach. God shows us important life lessons when we study His Word and bring a message to others. One of the lessons I learned came through preparing a class. I like to “practice” on willing volunteers before the actual class. Usually my “willing” volunteers are family members who don’t have the heart to say no when asked if they’d sit through a practice run. My most willing student is my seven-year-old granddaughter Sydney.
The other week, she came for a sleepover and wanted to have an art lesson. Of course, I wasn’t going to say no to an actual, in-the-flesh, unpaid enlistee.
In the middle of the session, Sydney tossed her brush in the cup of water and cried. “I’m done. I’m never going to paint again … EVER.”
“Why? Honey, what’s wrong?” I sat next to her and wrapped my arm around her shoulder.
“My painting’s awful. I can’t do it like you.”
“Oh, Sydney, you’re painting shows a lot of potential. Don’t give up.” I picked up her brush. “Watch what I can do with it. It only takes a little bit more work.”
Then God spoke to me, and I shared this message with Sydney:
We all face difficulties in our lives. We feel like throwing in the brush and giving up. We cry. We scream. We may even stomp on our canvases. But God is always there, watching, waiting, encouraging us to continue the task set before us. Not only does He encourage us to continue, He wraps His arms around us to comfort us. He also, if we let Him, takes the brush and creates a masterpiece out of our messed up lives. The choice is ours. We can struggle along and maybe even make a worse mess. Or we can put our lives into the hands of the Master and allow Him to do whatever is necessary to correct and create a more clear image of Christ in us.
Sydney smiled as I worked on her painting. In a few minutes, she took the brush and said, “I can do this. Let’s finish it.” She was proud of her painting that day. And I was very proud of her.
How about you? Who has control of the brush in your life’s painting?
See you in a twinkling,
Brenda K. Hendricks
PS: What do you think I’m working on in the picture above? I’ll post the finished work next week, Good Lord willing and obstacles don’t get in the way.